From San Pedro to Uyuni

Trip Start Aug 28, 2004
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Trip End Aug 2005


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Thursday, June 9, 2005

Our trip from "San Pedro" Chile, across the astonishing landscapes to Uyuni in Bolivia, would take us three days and two nights. There are several agencies, but we went with "Cordillera Traveller" who´s selling point was that their drivers never got drunk. We set off in the standard "Overland Vehicle" a Toyota Landcruiser. A wonderful creation. Our travelling companions were John from Ireland, but now a teacher in Korea and three young (at heart!!) ladies from N.Z. Georgie, Pat and Sally. The landscape was rocky and barren, then sandy and filled with Cacti. We passed yellow lakes, "Laguna Blanco" (caused by the Salt/Sulphur mineral content. "Laguna Verde", (Copper) and the red lakes, "Laguna Cordera" (Iron Ore). Some were iced over, which was just magnificent and there were still a few "flamingoes" surrounding the area, most have migrated off to warmer climes elsewhere!!!.

At one point we were at nearly at 5000m, so once aagain at altitude. Every time we thought we had seen all the wierd Topography you could imagine, there was some more just around the corner. As we were high up, it was very cold, until we thawed out in the midday sun, or in the thermal pools which we passed on the first day.

Our first night was spent in a dorm with the others, we both had two sleeping bags and three heavy blankets and were fully clothed. Heike even had her wee hat on!! On day two was made up of more amazing rock formations, that looked like stone trees and then thermal geysers and popping mud pools.

Night two was spent at a slightly warmer hotel made of salt, with salt walls chairs ect, very posh and we ate Llama steak for tea whch was jus tasty for a cold snap.

On day three, we crossed the main salt plains, all 12000 sq kilometers of salt, up to 8 meters thick. Right in the middle we stopped at a rock out crop an island full of Cacti. Very strange you have to be there, for that sort of experience. Still bloody cold too! We pressed onwards. Just outside "Uyuni", we stopped at the railway graveyard, a little boys dream of rusting steam trains. So we played Cassy Jones for a while.

Arriving in "Uyuni", we said farewell to our driver Mister "D" (the pronounciation is too hard!!), guide and excellent cook, we arranged a hotel for the night and booked a bus to take us south the next day, somewhere warm!!!!!!! "Tupiza to be exact....nearby to where "Butch Cassidy" and the "Sundance Kid", were alleged to have been killed.
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